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Google Search Bias
Transcript of Google Search Bias
Two-Sided Platform Markets
The Bigger Picture
Google Business Model
Google evolved from a pure search engine to a powerful conglomerate
„As our business has evolved, the competitive pressure to innovate will now encompass
a wider range of products and services
, including products and services that may
be outside of our historical core business
- Google Annual Report 2014
FREE as a Business Model - Does it pay off?
Google's Vicious Circle
Article 102 TFEU
"Any abuse by one or more undertakings of a dominant position"
Is the undertaking in a dominant position?
Has the undertaking abused its dominant position?
High market shares
Barriers to entry
Elements for market power
Abusive behavior must be distinguished from normal competitive strategy
Distinction for abusive conduct
- imposing unfair purchase or selling price
- foreclose competitors from the market
Abusive - What does it mean?
Defining the relevant market
Defining the dominant position
Abuse on the advertising side
Results for Google
But what about two-sided markets?
Example Check 24: Competitors are Tech Giants like Google
"A dominant position can only exist on a particular market"
Abusive behavior may not be detected so far!
Nevertheless Google builds up an empire which might lead to abusive behavior
Abuse on the user side
User pay with their attention indirectly
Users do not know whether they get the most relevant search results (Trust in Google)
The reaction of users to a quality decrease of the search results is difficult to observe
Everybody wants to rule the world
Need for Speed
The bigger the better
Everything competes with everything
Huge piles of data
Antitrust Investigations against Google
"If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life." -
Counterarguments by Google
People have more choice than ever before
Google is thriving competition online
Posted on Wednesday
15 April 2015
"The Search for
perfect search engine
should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want."
"More choice than ever before"
"it’s clear that:
(a) there’s a
ton of competition
(including from Amazon and eBay, two of the biggest shopping sites in the world) and
not harmed the competition"
would say that you typically
do not see a ton of innovation, new entrants or investment
where competition is stagnating
dominated by one player
depends on search results
When your biggest supplier is also your biggest competitor
Revenue: 100,- €
Costs for Ads: 80-90,- €
Google uses its
dominant position as a search engine provider
to promote own services like Google Shopping
which depend on Googles main service as a search engine provider
Google may not be alleged to abuse its dominant position on the user side
Digital Market Power
will be defined by collected
>> Policy should focus on
Digital Business Models
will evolve even further into
Full Service Platforms
, eg. Google Buy Button
Cross-Platform Market Power
narrow Market Definition
be reduced to pure
Search Engine Service
Don't limit the
harm the Consumer
Absorption of existing businesses
„Our business is characterized by rapid change as well as new and disruptive technologies. We face formidable competition in every aspect of our business.“
Google AR 2014
Vertical diversification is not per se an abuse of a dominant market position
Shopping Sites in Germany
(unique visitors, ‘000s)
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